We talk about one of my favourite books, The Writer’s Map by Huw Lewis-Jones, before discussing Phil’s leadership expertise. Phil says:
“I have got all the certificates, the bells and whistles, however, through my experience, what I have learnt is that you need to be pragmatic, in terms of what organisations need. So, part of how I have positioned my business is just under four words. It is listening, diagnosing, creating and implementing. So, what those 4 words say is that I will endeavour to really listen, and really understand, what is going on in an organisation, and I will conduct both bespoke psychometric tests, as well as my structured diagnostic process, to come up with a picture of what is happening in the organisation. In sharing that I will offer to create solutions that might be to improve leadership capability, perhaps management, and more generally, the overall culture of the business, and then through myself and a number of associates we will implement the appropriate solutions...Really one size fits none. You need to understand each organisation and come up with solutions that fit and work for them.
Phil tells us about his business, Blue Tree Consulting, and how he came up with the name and metaphor. He says: “I think my business, as you kindly introduced at the start is called Blue Tree Consulting, and that is a metaphor for my beliefs about business really. So, the roots of the tree are really the organisational purpose. The strength of the trunk is really the leadership capability. Then as you move into the lower boughs, that is all about your whole approach to people. You can put the HR badge onto it if you want, but it is really about how we are treating people in our business. Then as you move up into the leaf canopy, you are looking at growing management capability, for managing not just process and performance, but also individuals, and around all of that is your people capability. Now the reason why it’s a tree is not just because I like trees, which I do, is it conveys to me that whole sense of working as one unit, and everything being aligned. So, one of my beliefs that I really push with my clients is that whatever you do, whether it is growing leadership capability, or training managers how to do a disciplinary, or identifying talent, all that has to be aligned to your organisational purpose.”Before making the leap to set up his own business, Phil was Head of HR at Portakabin. He shares his tips and advice for moving from a corporate job to self-employment. His recommendations include these words of advice:“Try and create a network of support around yourself, whether that is through associates, mentors, you know, to help you along the way, people who have made this journey, people who can give you real pragmatic advice, sometimes emotional support.I certainly felt I had to figure out how much money I needed to earn, what sort of buffer amount of cash that I had, how long that was going to last, and how things were going to work from a financial point of view, in a worst case scenario, but in a best case scenario as well." Thank you very much, Phil, for a great conversation. I really enjoyed spending time with you on my Idea Time podcast.